Julian Assange: UK Spy Messages Suggest He is Being Framed
'I am fine, I am doing the work of my life'
Speaking during an interview with Spanish television program Salvados, which aired on Sunday, WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange said that he has received a series of unclassified instant message exchanges from UK intelligence officials suggesting that he is being framed.
Assange filed a 'Special Access Request' under the UK's Data Protection Act asking the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) for copies of all unclassified documents referencing Assange.
"They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ, it's definitely a fit-up though. Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate."Assange has spent the past 11 months in the Ecuadorian embassy in London to avoid arrest and extradition to Sweden for alleged sexual assault charges.
Assange told the interviewer: "If I walked out the front door immediately I would be arrested that would either be an arrest for a sealed indictment from the United States for the investigation that is occurring there or it would be an arrest for an extradition to Sweden followed by an extradition from Sweden to the United States."
"And just recently we used this from GCHQ. We have just received this. It is not public yet. GCHQ which the electonic spying agency in Britain equivalent of the United States National Security Agency. It of course won't hand over any of the classified information," he told interviewer Jordi Évole. "But, much to its surprise, it has some unclassified information on us. It had some instant messaging between its spies," he said.
The first instant message conversation from August 31, 2012 reads:
"You've seen Assange's prediction?"
"He reckons he will stay in the Ecuadorian embassy for six to 12 months then the charges against him will be dropped, but that is not really how it works now is it?
"He's a fool"
"A highly optimistic fool"
"Another one here from September last year:"
"They are trying to arrest him on suspicion of XYZ, it's definitely a fit-up though. Their timings are too convenient right after Cablegate."
"This is what their spies are discussing among themselves," Assange added.
(CD Editors note: UsingEnglish.com defines "fit-up" as meaning: "To frame someone - make them look guilty of something they haven't done."
"We made a request to the police here, the government has already admitted it cost £4.5m to surround this embassy with police, but they won't hand over any documents under the Freedom of information Act because it "concerns an investigation." We know there is no investigation," he told the interviewer Jordi Évole.
"Everything I say in email or SMS can be used in espionage prosecution. The US is finding ways to make everything classified."
"Journalists want to hear that I am suffering, but I am fine, I am doing the work of my life so even in quite difficult circumstances it is satisfying," he said.
"Sometimes I wonder if I have overstepped the mark, but the work I am doing is so satisfying to my principles that I am firm in my convictions that it was worth it."
The interview with Salvados below. (Questions are in Spanish; Assange answers in English)